HUman resource for new managers

A common component of managerial training programs is a section on human resources.

New managers need to be aware of HR policies and procedures including strategic staff planning, job analysis and design, recruiting, interviewing, selection, orientation, professional development, succession planning, health and safety and managing the performance of their direct reports.

These skills may come naturally to the new manager or may not. It depends entirely on their attitudes towards human capitol and the importance it plays in their alignment with business strategies and philosophies.

The irony is that to be highly productive, talent needs to be optimized. Good HR practices go a long way to ensuring that talent is optimized and productivity is high.

Developing a program to train new managers can be effectively structured by creating modules on the topics listed above. Modules that can be delivered in 1-3 hours will be practical.

Expecting new managers to be pulled away from their duties for more time is not respecting the needs of operations and may result in poor attendance.

It is important to develop a roll out plan that works around operational constraints like seasonal busy times, major projects and events or staffing shortages.

If program participants are located all over the country, then look at delivering part or all of the training online, as webinars or tied-in with meetings or other events that will bring them together in one location.

Some companies, especially newer start-ups and casino online with real money platforms, may not have a formal HR department.

This requires hiring managers to be HR generalists and other staff to take on the roles normally assigned to junior HR staff like offer letters, enrollment in benefits, provisioning and so on.

In this case, it is wise to have training available and policies in place to ensure corporate culture, ethical and legal policies are being practiced.

These policies and procedures will help ensure that fair practices are maintained and that there is consistency from business unit to business unit.

HR Management for Expatriation

Sending executive and managerial staff to organize and oversee subsidiary offices in foreign locations is a challenge for human resources management.

Expatriation is a complex and costly phenomenon, requiring attention given to concerns such as family adjustment, insurance, costs of moving and settling in, language and cultural training, and personal attitudes, needs, and goals.

With careful attention to these areas, expatriate workers can make huge contributions, both to the subsidiary and to main office functions back home.

However, it is important to understand that effectiveness in international assignments is different from effectiveness in monocultural contexts.

The most successful manager at home may not be the most successful overseas. Supervisory and HR staff need to consider the special requirements of an international placement when selecting and preparing staff for expatriation.

Pre-Selection

Realistically speaking, there may not always be a range of choices for personnel to take the overseas assignment, considering, on the one hand, skills and background needed for the work, and on the other hand, personal and family availability for such an assignment.

It is worth noting that even with the great strides made by women in management in recent years, still 85% of expatriate managers are men.

This is unfortunate, since women are often more skilled at the reading of context and non-verbal clues, a critical component of cross-cultural communication competence.

Generally, managers who exhibit flexibility and the ability to fail and start again will do better in international placements.

There is no specific personality test that can signal potential success in expatriation, but mature, well-grounded people have the foundation on which to build competence in a new cultural environment.

Orientation and Planning

The overall cost of the move can be controlled with careful advance planning. If at all possible, scouting ahead of time for housing, personal transport, and children’s schooling, if applicable, can cut down on both stress and costs of keeping personnel in temporary lodging at the start of the assignment.

Cross-cultural communication training is often seen by companies as a “frill”, not mission critical for managers.

However, experience shows that staff who come to the field equipped with knowledge about cultural issues in general and the special context of the country of assignment in particular are better able to “hit the ground running” and make more insightful contributions from the earliest stages of expatriation.

Developing Long Term Effectiveness

Although there is no evidence for a high rate of failure and early return of expatriate managers, a recognized problem is that of negative-minded and unhappy expatriates who do nothing but complain about the country of assignment and their national colleagues.

However, many expatriate managers become competent in their new culture, and some people become highly skilled at international communication, easily making themselves at home in new cultures as they encounter them.

What can HR managers do to foster increased cross-cultural communication competence in their staff and to increase the chances of expatriates developing competence in the skills needed for global business?

Most important is an openness, both on the side of the company and on the side of the employee to understanding the ways in which cultures vary and the myriad opportunities for maximizing each culture’s competitive advantages, once these are understood.

The employer should expect all employees planning for expatriation to be knowledgeable about global business and cross-cultural communication, and the employees should expect support from the company in gaining such knowledge and skills.

Bringing the Value Added Back Home

An opportunity frequently wasted by companies with overseas subsidiaries is that of using the increased skill and knowledge of an employee returning to the home office after an overseas assignment.

Expatriation gives new perspectives and teaches managers to exploit opportunities that they may not have recognized before. Yet it is common for returnees to feel sidelined, as if they have just “missed” the past few years, instead of gaining valuable skills in their work.

HR managers should give attention to finding ways to use the increased value of the workers whose knowledge of the company’s overseas operations may be unparalleled back home.

Expatriation has many facets and Human Resources managers need to consider them in concert, not piecemeal in order to minimize costs and maximize value from each overseas assignment.

Pre-departure selection and planning, in-country orientation and skill-building, and the re-entry phase are all important components for planning.

Left to chance, any one of these factors can undermine success and lead to increased costs, but managed attentively, expatriation can significantly improve and increase your global business.

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